If we had double the inventory we could have easily done double the sales

The real estate market in Santa Clara County has been HOT!!   We have a very low inventory of only 1659 homes and condos/townhomes.   Investors, first time buyers and move up buyers and sellers are out in full force. I recently had an open house with 125 attendees in 3 hours and this was on a blustery day. The rapid change really started in the last 2 months.

So here is the Sales Statistics Update Report. Remember we have a population of 1.8 Million people.  Continue reading

Silicon Valley Real Estate is HOT!

Sizzle (album)

As of March 31, 2012 active listings in Santa Clara County are a scant 1671.  That is right just 1671 houses, condos and townhomes in the entire county.  What is the population of that area?  1.7 Million!

The breakdown of that number is – single family homes, 1320 and condo/townhomes, 351. These numbers were down 52% from last year’s figure!

The number of homes and townhome/condos that went into contract over the last 30 days was 2041 (single family – 1476, condo/townhome – 565). This figure was slightly less than last year.

Just a note if we had the inventory we would have sold a lot more homes!  Many areas are seeing multiple offers on properties.  In the low end housing there are up to 30 offers.  Mid-range is seeing 5+ depending on area.  The Peninsula is HOT.

The number of closed sales in March were 1324 (918 were single family homes and 406 were condo/ townhomes). The closed sales are even with last year.

Home prices in the area are close to the lowest they have been and interest rates on mortgages are really low. Now might be your time to check out the Real Estate market.

Make it a great week!

Pat Chadwell, broker
Certified Real Estate Specialist
Realty World – Residential Specialists
408-927-6565 x 11 (direct)

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Sunnyvale has a bright future

English: Two booths at Farmers market in Sunny...
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I wanted to start with the condo/townhome properties in Sunnyvale.  The stats are really impressive.  The number of condos/townhomes on the market is only 17, with pending sales for the last 30 days at 33 and closed sales in February were 21. From last year the active listings are down 72% and closed sales are up 30%!  These are great statistics. Continue reading

Blossom Valley is in bloom – Sales are bursting forth

Yes – Blossom Valley is in bloom and Real Estate sales are bursting forth.

Double-flowered Cherry Blossoms

The number of listings is down by a whopping 57% from last year!    There are currently 63 active listings in Blossom Valley ranging in price from $240,000-$1,995,000. The current median list price is $505,000.  Look at these numbers – Last year there were 148 active listings. And the median price was $485,000. Continue reading

Santa Clara Condos/Townhomes Flying off the Shelves

Santa Clara Condos/Townhomes Flying off the Shelves.  Can you believe it – Last year there were 97 active condos/townhomes in Santa Clara.  This year there are just 42!  That is a 57% reduction from last year.

Pending sales in the last 30 days for the same group (condos/townhomes) were 36 and closed sales in January were 19.  How much change is there really from last year?  The pending sales were up 44% over last year’s figure and closed sales – Hold onto your hat – were up 380%. Continue reading

August closed sales for Santa Clara County were up 18% from last year’s figures!

Location in the state of California
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August closed sales for Santa Clara County were up 18% from last year’s figures!

The August active listings in Santa Clara County were 3289, of that the single family homes were 2438 and condos/ townhomes were 851. These numbers were down 28% from the 8/31/10 figures. This is significantly different than last year. Continue reading

Short sellers don’t get it in San Jose

Short sellers in San Jose are somehow missing the boat. 

My client wanted to see 16 short sales properties.  As someone that knows the pitfalls of short sales, I took to doing some research.

I began by emailing the listing agents on all my usual short sale questions – It has gotten to be quite a list – Checking out the seller’s hardship, the lenders involved, the deficiency involve, experience of the agent and motivation of the seller beyond the hardship, etc.

After I weeded out the improbable ones to close, most were shown “By Appointment Only”.  First a comment about the weeding out the improbably ones, in Santa Clara County right now only 22-25% of the short sales complete with a successful sale.  That means 75%+ don’t complete.  Why waste a buyer’s time when most short sales have a 3 out of 4 chance of FAILING!  Continue reading

Bravo to the Freddie Mac First Look Program!

Freddie Mac
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Starting September 2010, this program gave owner-occupied buyers 15 days to buy homes before investors can get into the offer process.  Last year I was seeing investors with all cash swooping in on prime real estate and winning the contract while interested first time buyers were unable to get a toe-hold in the home buying process.

I think this program will let the number of owner occupied buyers rise up again.

I commend Freddie Mac for taking this sane initiative.  We need more sanity in the real estate arena.  Click here to get the press release – http://www.freddiemac.com/news/archives/servicing/2010/20100915_firstlook.html 

Care to comment?

Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists

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Buyer decides more eyes are better…

magnifying glass showing aberration
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I met a buyer at a bank-owned property. He invited a trusted friend/co-worker that was knowledgeable about construction to attend the showing.

I loved it! We were able to comb over the home and felt we knew quite a bit more than the standard previewing of the home. We determined what inspections were needed to be completed. That left the buyer time to also recognize other things regarding the neighborhood that he wanted to check out  further.

I love informed and engaged buyers.

Pat Chadwell, Broker
Realty World – Residential Specialists

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Short sale – A panacea or a black hole for a buyer?

Black Hole in the universe
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What do buyers need to know before considering pursuing a short sale property?  Is it a panacea or a black hole?

1. What are the possible consequences for the seller that would ultimately NOT make him take any approval given by his lender? Here are just a few questions-
a. Will there be a large potential deficiency on any loans, especially a 2nd loan?
b. Will the seller, with some reserves at his disposal, be unwilling to contribute any funds to see the home sale complete?
c. Is the seller actually trying to get a loan modification while the home is on the market?

2. How soon is the auction sale date? Often the lender will not postpone any auction date beyond one 30-day extension. Wells Fargo has policy on this point.

3. Who is the lender? How many loans are on the property?  Some lenders are way more responsive than others. Bank of America, who took over Countrywide, has some 500 potential investors behind the scenes. Each investor has their own policy on dealing with short sales. Some are reasonable, some want 10% to consider taking a shorts sale, some want a promissory note signed by the seller to repay some of the debt, etc. Additionally when you are dealing with bank employees some are not properly trained which can lead to arbitrary answers.

4. What other liens exist on the property or against the seller?  An HOA lien, child support, IRS liens are quite common. Some can be taken care of through time but you need time to work through it. I recently heard that some credit card companies are getting judgments against a seller and then recording a lien against the seller which shows up when the escrow company does its job to look for recorded liens.  The credit card companies want to get a piece of the pie and can delay closing.  Any liens can prevent closing altogether.

5. You must remember you are buying a home as-is. Usually with no upfront inspections.  When the short sale lender approval is given the actual sale starts and you are under the gun to get your inspections. What happens if you find out about unknown issues – like a broken fireplace chimney or furnace that does not work?

6. What is the listing agent’s ability to get the job done? Is she submitting all the forms in a completed package? Is she responsive to all parties? Also is she proactive by giving comparable sales to any agents doing a BPO (broker’s price opinion)?

7. What about timing? A few lenders respond in a couple of weeks and most others take months. Do you need to have some predict on your moving date? Is your lease ending on your apartment? Baby on the way?

I do represent sellers with a high motivation after I look at the potential to close the transaction.

Regarding representing a buyer in a short sale, I will look at the above and determine the potential to actually close the sale. If anyone, especially the seller or listing agent is less than forthcoming to my questions, I skip the property. After all only 22% of the short sales are completing right now in the Santa Clara County. There are LOTS of pitfalls.

Who wants to put their client through 6 months of waiting to find out they will not get the home?  At the same time while the buyer is waiting for an answer to the short sale interest rates may be going up so the buyer’s buying power was reduced in the meantime.  That is my viewpoint on how I need to represent my clients fully.

What do you think?

Pat Chadwell
Broker, Certified Distressed Property Expert

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